Friday, December 4, 2009

Google Model Race

I'm referencing the term 'arms race,' in which countries try to beat the other in producing better weapons than the other.

What I'm referring to, actually, is the replacement of one's models in the 3D Warehouse. I think it's kind of funny in a way.

Here's some history to help make sense of this: A while ago, maybe a year or even two, I was happily uploading plain white models to the 3D Warehouse. They weren't photo-textured, which meant they were plain and boring and not something Google would accept into Earth. Photo-textures, by the way, are photos pasted onto the sides of the model that are of the actual building, making the model look like the actual building:

Not Photo-Textured (My house, done a while ago)

Photo-Textured (AppleTree Medical Clinic downtown)

They look realistic and cool and a lot more attractive, and Google approves those kinds of buildings. A model without photo-textures is very unlikely to be accepted, though there are and were exceptions, like my original model of Merivale High School, which was included in Google Earth for awhile until yesterday. That's what I'm getting to at this post: The replacements.

During my time of uploading blank white models, other people started to take notice, and download them. One person downloaded my model of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, and added his own photo-textures to it, to try and improve it. He also wrote a very long description of it. Over time, several of my models appeared twice in the 3D Warehouse, one of mine, and one of someone's improvements on it, credited to them. I knew that they'd downloaded my model and made their own adjustments and touch to it. They were exactly the same except for the added improvements of photo-textures. 
I will say that I do have respect for the people who did this - who did a good job. Not a feeble one or a slight improvement, but a great job, way better than my original work. What I like to say is that my model was usurped by another person's better version. Because theirs made it into Google Earth.
What I didn't like was the feeble attempt of improvement on my Crowne Hotel model. Here's the difference:

My original blank white version. Uploaded December 8, 2007

His version, painted with lines and colors but not real photo-textures. Uploaded June 20, 2008.

It wasn't much better, yet it made its way into Google Earth over my original.
The thing is, it was like a competition. See who's version of what model will make it. For awhile, his was ahead of me - it was in Google Earth after all. But he hadn't won.

Weeks ago I decided to redo the model. With proper textures and proper techniques I'd come up with. The continuation of making that one model even nicer and more appealing continued as I uploaded this:

My more realistic version, uploaded November 6, 2009

Over several years this has been changing. I've got the upper hand now, because this is in Google Earth. I've usurped his version that had usurped my original version. This I redid completely, instead of downloading the original model of the original model. 
Will he or someone else come back and download it and make it even better? For anyone who does that and does an astounding version that's even more appealing, well, I have your respect because anything better than this deserves to be in Google Earth. Because this is pretty good. The bar is set pretty high.
Currently, at the moment there are two foremost modelers of Ottawa right now: Myself and someone named 'alp28.' He also appeared to have downloaded a few of my models and improved them, at the beginning, because a much better version of my Place de Ville building appeared in the 3D Warehouse. I have respect for that modeler because he does a great job and does his own original models as well that are just awesome. The version of my model he did was several times better, which I liked.

Nowadays I'm busy redoing other models I originally did as "Justin." I'm, say, 'usurping my own models' now.

My original version of Merivale High School, as "Justin." Uploaded July 11, 2007

My new and current version of Merivale High School, as "Justin Scott." Uploaded November 27, 2009.

Eventually all of my original models will have much better replications of them by me, all photo-textured and all hopefully accepted to Earth. Some of my original models that were in Earth will be replaced as the better model will get the spot. The "Justin" modeler is defunct. He used my mother's e-mail address which is why I made a new account as "Justin Scott" when I got my own on Gmail.

It's just interesting to examine all this and see how new and different models get made and replaced all the time. In Ottawa, like I said, it's emerged as me and that alp guy being the dominant modelers of everything. We're slowly building up downtown Ottawa. I started in the suburban areas and I've now began doing the larger buildings of downtown and environs, along with that guy. It's slowly turning 3D. It's great.

-Justin C.

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